The lead investigator into the main suspect in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance said police have “concrete evidence” Christian Brueckner killed the missing British girl, according to reports.
German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters has reportedly written to the missing girl’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann to inform them she is dead.
However, he reportedly admitted there is no forensic evidence and he cannot currently give them the full details.
Mr Wolters told The Sun: “We have written to the McCanns to tell them Madeleine is dead and explaining we just cannot say what the evidence is.
“We have concrete evidence that our suspect has killed Madeleine.
“British police have been informed but don’t have all the evidence we have.”
As a result, the family’s Portuguese lawyer Rogerio Alves has called on German police to share all evidence with Madeleine’s parents.
However, Mr Wolters said while he sympathises with Kate and Gerry “it might jeopardise the investigation”.
“It would be easier for them if I could tell them what we know but I can’t,” he continued. “All I can say is there is no forensic evidence but there is other evidence which indicates she is dead.”
Speaking from his office in the German city of Braunschweig, Mr Wolters told the Mirror: “It is more important that we are successful and we are able to get the culprit, as opposed to just putting our cards on the table and tell them why we think she might be.”
He said there has been an increasing exchange of information between the German team, Scotland Yard and Portugal but admitted “not every detail has been passed on”.
Mr Alves is to meet Portuguese detectives this week.
German investigators believe Mr Brueckner killed Madeleine soon after abducting her from a holiday apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz in May, 2007.
Brueckner, 43, is in jail in Germany for drug dealing, and is appealing against a conviction for the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old woman, also at Praia da Luz.